Šoltys helped to pull Kamaz, Macháček drove without brakes
Buggyra drivers had their hands full in almost a 500-kilometre-long stage. Martin Šoltys achieved the best result, taking 7th place in the Trucks category, even despite he had to help pull one of the Kamaz trucks at the beginning. He has now moved up by one position in the overall standings.
Martin Šoltys is slowly improving and today, he was battling his teammate Casale. “At the beginning, we were helping to pull a Kamaz, so we lost some time there. The stage was switching between pistes and dunes, and it was the dunes where we always got behind Ignacio, but we lacked the speed to get ahead. And then he always pulled away again. When we finally got ahead of him, we made a navigational error, so he got back ahead of us. After that, we caught up him with again and finished like that. It was a good stage, but there’s still a lot ahead of us,” said the Šoltys, who is currently 8th in the overall standings.
After yesterday’s 6th place, Ignacio Casale took another solid result.
“It was great, we had no issues at all. It was a very fast stage, but I enjoyed it. I have to say, that I’m getting used to the truck more and more. Maybe we were slightly slower than the trucks with an automatic gearbox, but we don’t mind. I just made an error at the beginning at one of the dunes, but after that, it was faultless,” said excited Ignacio Casale after finishing in 8th position. He is currently in 7th place in the overall standings.
On the other hand, Josef Macháček, who was in 2nd place yesterday, struggled with brakes. That issue cost him a lot of time and the Dakar legend finished only in 12th place, dropping to 5th position in the overall standings in the lightweight prototypes category.
“At 100 kilometres, when we got into a refuelling zone, we discovered a torn cuff on a half-axle. I decided just to add some grease and not to change it. But with just 200 kilometres to go, we lost brakes completely, and both half-axles were dry. So, we just took it easy to make sure we survive,” said the experienced driver.
Tomáš Enge and his crew were out of luck in the second stage as well. He had to deal with technical difficulties which resulted in a loss of five hours. “In the beginning the pace was quick. Then, however, technical issues arose and we had to stop. Unfortunately, we left the lights on and the battery died. Luckily, a local was nearby and we managed to get the car running with his help. The loss was huge, we made it to the dunes at night, which was another experience for me. I thought that I will have to sleep there, as we got stuck in one of them and the engine kept overheating. We managed to cool it off, checked the direction of the traces and tried it. It was another adventure, but I hope to finally start competing,” said Enge close to midnight.
The third stage will be 403 kilometres long and the organisers promise that there will be no more rocks. Tuesday should be all about sand and dunes.